RANCH WITH NO BASEMENT; CRAWLSPACE ONLY

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When we purchased this home, we noticed that there were rocks/stones under the crawlspace area. Over time, cats found their way to take shelter under our house and redecorated by kicking the rocks into the yard. (LOL). I know there must be some purpose for the rocks, be it to prevent water buildup or condensation problems.
I wonder if you can help me with these questions:
1. Before putting down rock, should we put down a thick plastic covering first?
2. How high up shoud we pile the rocks up?
I have asked several places about this and no one had a good answer for me. I appreciate any help you can offer. Thank you.
q ranch with no basement crawlspace only, curb appeal, home maintenance repairs, how to
q ranch with no basement crawlspace only, curb appeal, home maintenance repairs, how to
q ranch with no basement crawlspace only, curb appeal, home maintenance repairs, how to
q ranch with no basement crawlspace only, curb appeal, home maintenance repairs, how to
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